“And that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.”
OK, Linus never said those words to Charlie Brown, but here’s what we all need to know about Valentine’s Day.
For centuries the Church has marked February 14 as the feast day of St. Valentinus. The most widely accepted version of his martyrdom is that he ran afoul of Emperor Claudius II, who banned marriage believing that “Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.”
Valentinus defied the emperor by marrying couples in secret. He was caught and executed.
So, yes, Valentine’s Day is about love, but not the kind we normally think about. Romantic love, eros, can only be properly ordered by agape, that is, self-giving, self-sacrificing love.
Valentinus died in service of Christ because of his agape to advance the life-giving agape and eros between husbands and wives.
And, while you keep the history of St. Valentinus in mind, guys, don’t forget to buy her flowers.
This Point was originally published on February 14, 2020.
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